Cosmetic dentistry can help you achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile. A general dentist can assess your mouth and perform some of the treatments you need. You can also get a referral to another dental care provider for more complex treatments. Here are the common cosmetic dentistry procedures that you should consider.This field of dentistry…
Who Qualifies for a Smile Makeover
Being self-conscious about one’s smile is one reason to consider eligibility for a smile makeover. The health of the teeth and gums can contribute to the appearance of the smile and can also impact a level of comfort when eating or speaking. There are a number of makeover procedures that alter the look of the smile but also improve form and function, and treatment eligibility depends on the condition of the mouth.
Reasons for candidacy
Individuals of all ages may be considered for a makeover treatment, as the range of conditions corrected by these processes occurs across a wide age range. Provided a dental exam does not reveal gum disease or tooth decay that must first be addressed before a makeover can take place, the following oral health issues may indicate eligibility for a smile makeover:
- Temporomandibular joint disorder, a problem in the jaw joints signified by chronic headaches or pain, inflammation, and clicking sensations
- Bite problems that include crossbites, underbites, or issues with bruxism
- Missing teeth
- Damaged, broken, chipped, or decayed teeth
- Irregular spacing between the teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Crooked teeth
An in-depth evaluation of the entire mouth is used to reveal which makeover option will provide desired results. More than one treatment may be used, as patients may want to improve the uniformity of the smile through both straightening and teeth whitening. The care plan should meet the patient's specific needs, all the way from cost considerations to the timeline for completion. More than one method may be able to provide restorative support.
These thin covers are bonded to the front surface of a tooth or teeth in order to cover worn edges, chips, or stains. They are an excellent alternative for patients who have tooth discoloration that will not respond to whitening treatments. Some dentists may also use them to enhance teeth that are unevenly shaped or sized. In some situations, they can even be used to address small gaps without the need for additional tooth-straightening treatments. With proper care, veneers can last for 15 years or more before a replacement is needed.
Rather than being bonded to the surface, a crown is like a durable jacket made from porcelain that fits over the teeth. This treatment can hide discolored teeth or those that are damaged and decayed. Crowns are more commonly used for teeth towards the back of the mouth. They are designed to match the shape, size, and color of the surrounding teeth, offering natural-looking results. They are a very common type of dental work that can last for many years.
A step up from traditional dentures, implants are natural-feeling replacement teeth. These can be used to fill in gaps where teeth are missing. Dental implants require surgery, during which a titanium rod is inserted below the gum line. As the area heals, the implant fuses to the jaw bone, providing maximum stability for the replacement tooth. Many dentists recommend this option because it can help prevent bone loss and can last for a lifetime.
A bridge can provide a cohesive look with replacement teeth for mouths where one or more teeth are missing. These replacements are natural and durable and are held in place with the help of remaining teeth. Bridges are used for patients of a variety of ages and can replace as many as four teeth in a row, depending on the person's unique situation. They require careful cleaning at home but can offer great-looking results.
Inlay, overlays, and fillings
Teeth that have experienced damage or decay can be restored through tooth-colored fillings, as well as inlays or overlays. These makeover options provide some of the quickest results when compared to other treatments, many times being completed in just one visit. Once the material is placed and cured, the dentist can carefully shape it to achieve the right shape and look.
Patients who want to restore a beautiful white shine to their teeth can choose a whitening procedure. These treatments can remove yellowing and years of staining from smoking or other causes. If you follow the dentist's recommendations for follow-up care and daily habits, whitening treatments can last for up to a year before another treatment is desired. Others like to have the procedure done every few months. How often you choose to whiten your teeth usually comes down to personal preferences.
A smile makeover can create a new look and improve a person’s ability to eat or speak. Eligibility for a specific treatment depends heavily on the condition of the mouth and the desired results.
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